The Children’s Centre is getting ready to show users its revamped premises which are designed to help children and adults of all needs.

A series of works have been taking shape at the charity’s headquarters and farm to provide modern facilities to children, young people and their families.

The centre has not only made modifications to its farmland on the Old Castletown Road near Kewaigue with new animal residents moving in, but it has installed shared kitchens for teaching young people how to bake cakes. It is also working on several rooms to build upon individual skills.

The improvements include a new tech hub where users can experience virtual reality.

Within its shared kitchen, located in the courtyard, is a bench that is probably the only one of its kind in the island.

With an industrial hob and a sink, the bench moves up and down by simply pressing a switch.

This is to remove the dangerous element of having small children stir pots while standing on a crate, said the head of the centre, Joff Whitten.

Other areas in the courtyard include the Forge and Furnace room, one for making ceramics and pottery and a family space with kitchen facilities to help those going through court proceedings.

Mr Whitten said he hopes to get children who show an interest to help construct a rockery and more using machinery and learning about conservation on the farm.

He said: ’This is becoming a 21st Century unique, cutting-edge learning centre within agricultural surroundings.


’It’s old meets new. The works have been ongoing for six months and we’ve kept the original features of the farm house as much as possible.’

Covid-19 caused some setbacks, but The Children’s Centre is still on track to have the place open after the summer holidays.

’We did our best to keep in contact with people over the pandemic with phone calls and virtual talks, but it’s not the same as being able to come up on site. Part of our job is to help people get out of their rut,’ he said.

Two particular additions that the centre is to introduce to its users are two baby goats from Close Leece Farm in Patrick.

Members of the public have been encouraged to send in their name suggestions for the brothers.

The new residents join the Wild Zone where donkeys, Kunekune pigs, chickens and sheep roam.

Although the centre wants to accommodate children who love using computers, one of its main purposes is to get young people involved in the outdoor spaces where various nurturing projects, such as feeding the animals and growing chillies in the chilli-tunnel on-site, take place.

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